Joke - Types of Jokes - Subjects

Subjects

Political jokes are usually a form of satire. They generally concern politicians and heads of state, but may also cover the absurdities of a country's political situation. A prominent example of political jokes would be political cartoons. Two large categories of this type of jokes exist. The first one makes fun of a negative attitude to political opponents or to politicians in general. The second one makes fun of political clichés, mottoes, catch phrases or simply blunders of politicians. Some, especially the "you have two cows" genre, derive humour from comparing different political systems.

Professional humour includes caricatured portrayals of certain professions such as lawyers, and in-jokes told by professionals to each other.

Mathematical jokes are a form of in-joke, generally designed to be understandable only by insiders. (They are also often strictly visual jokes.)

Ethnic jokes exploit ethnic stereotypes. They are often racist and frequently considered offensive.

For example, the British tell jokes starting "An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman..." which exploit the supposed parsimony of the Scot, stupidity of the Irish or rigid conventionality of the English. Such jokes exist among numerous peoples.

Jokes based on other stereotypes (such as blonde jokes) are often considered funny.

Religious jokes fall into several categories:

  • Jokes based on stereotypes associated with people of religion (e.g. nun jokes, priest jokes, or rabbi jokes)
  • Jokes on classical religious subjects: crucifixion, Adam and Eve, St. Peter at The Gates, etc.
  • Jokes that collide different religious denominations: "A rabbi, a medicine man, and a pastor went fishing..."
  • Letters and addresses to God.

Self-deprecating or self-effacing humour is superficially similar to racial and stereotype jokes, but involves the targets laughing at themselves. It is said to maintain a sense of perspective and to be powerful in defusing confrontations. A common example is Jewish humour. A similar situation exists in the Scandinavian "Ole and Lena" joke.

Self-deprecating humour has also been used by politicians, who recognise its ability to acknowledge controversial issues and steal the punch of criticism. For example, when Abraham Lincoln was accused of being two-faced he replied, "If I had two faces, do you think this is the one I’d be wearing?".

Dirty jokes are based on taboo, often sexual, content or vocabulary. The definitive studies on them have been written by Gershon Legman.

Other taboos are challenged by sick jokes and gallows humour, and to joke about disability is considered in this group.

Surrealist or minimalist jokes exploit semantic inconsistency, for example: Q: What's red and invisible? A: No tomatoes..

Anti-jokes are jokes that are not funny in regular sense, and often can be decidedly unfunny, but rely on the let-down from the expected joke to be funny in itself.

An elephant joke is a joke, almost always a riddle or conundrum and often a sequence of connected riddles, frequently operating on a surrealistic, anti-humorous or meta-humorous level, that involves an elephant.

Jokes involving non-sequitur humour, with parts of the joke being unrelated to each other; e.g. "My uncle once punched a man so hard his legs became trombones", from The Mighty Boosh TV series.

Dark humour is often used in order to deal with a difficult situation in a manner of "if you can laugh at it, it won't kill you". Usually those jokes make fun of tragedies like death, accidents, wars, catastrophes or injuries.

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Famous quotes containing the word subjects:

    Last night, party at Lansdowne-House. Tonight, party at Lady Charlotte Greville’s—deplorable waste of time, and something of temper. Nothing imparted—nothing acquired—talking without ideas—if any thing like thought in my mind, it was not on the subjects on which we were gabbling. Heigho!—and in this way half London pass what is called life.
    George Gordon Noel Byron (1788–1824)

    While the system of holding people in hostage is as old as the oldest war, a fresher note is introduced when a tyrannic state is at war with its own subjects and may hold any citizen in hostage with no law to restrain it.
    Vladimir Nabokov (1899–1977)

    Despite the hundreds of attempts, police terror and the concentration camps have proved to be more or less impossible subjects for the artist; since what happened to them was beyond the imagination, it was therefore also beyond art and all those human values on which art is traditionally based.
    A. Alvarez (b. 1929)